In this series we’re going to go through the biggest and most common mistakes I see athletes and newer coaches make when designing programmes for olympic weightlifting.
Today, we’re looking at the mistake of not providing enough frequency for the specific weightlifting movements.
- What Do We Mean By Frequency in weightlifting?
- Why is Frequency Important in Weightlifting?
- How little is too little frequency in weightlifting?
- Looking for An Olympic Weightlifting Programme?
- Practical Recommendations for Olympic Weightlifting Frequency
- Olympic Weightlifting Training Frequency Questions
- Next Up
What Do We Mean By Frequency in weightlifting?
•The amount of times you train per week
•In weightlifting, specifically the amount of times you train the snatch, clean & jerk, and their close variations
Full Video of this article if you prefer…
Why is Frequency Important in Weightlifting?
- Skill acquisition literature is very clear, practicing skills more often improves learning speed and increases technical mastery
- In weightlifting, if you don’t practice the movements often enough, you won’t have the technical skill to perform at your best
- There are also specific speed-strength and positional strength characteristics that can only be trained with the weightlifting movements themselves – you can’t just get good by doing back extensions!
How little is too little frequency in weightlifting?
- Programmes in which you snatch less than twice per week, or clean & jerk less than twice per week, are likely NOT providing enough frequency.
- This includes the main lifts and CLOSE variations. So exercises like hang snatches would count. But probably not things like drop snatches.
- In other words, at least twice per week you need to be performing lifts that are as close as possible to the snatch and clean & jerk
Looking for An Olympic Weightlifting Programme?
I’ve put together a 13-week classic weightlifting programme.
It utilises the best evidence-based practice and focuses on the exercises, sets and reps proven to work, whilst cutting out the fluff and filler.
It also comes with full instructions, Q&A access, and a guide to auto-regulation/individualisation.
You can learn more about the programme by clicking right here.
Practical Recommendations for Olympic Weightlifting Frequency
Aim to perform the weightlifting movements frequently. Typically, I have my athletes perform them around 3-4 times per week. Which might look like…
Monday: Snatch, Hang Clean & Jerk
Wednesday: Hang Snatch, Clean & Jerk
Friday: Power Snatch, Power Clean
Saturday: Snatch, Clean & Jerk
+ Strength work and assistance exercises. This is only a rough example to demonstrate the concept.
Olympic Weightlifting Training Frequency Questions
How often do weightlifters workout?
Well, that largely depends on the level of the lifter. Elite weightlifters typically train 6-9 times per week. Whereas intermediate lifters train 4-5 times per week and beginner weightlifters train 2-3 times per week.
These are certainly not set in stone, they’re just what I’ve tended to see from years of coaching and observation.
How many days a week should I do Olympic weightlifting?
This is a much better question. Tailor your training frequency to what you can realistically handle on a consistent basis. If you’re in your late teens or early 20’s, maybe with a few hours of college per week, you can probably handle a lot of training. If you’re in your late 30’s or 40’s with a partner, kids and full time job, you might only be able to handle a couple of sessions per week.
Be honest about your own situation and adjust your training accordingly
Can you do Olympic lifts everyday?
You can, and most high-level lifters will. However, they will also carefully alternate between heavier/harder days and lighter/easier days so as to allow for proper recovery. For example…
Monday: Heavy snatches and cleans
Tuesday: Light muscle snatches and muscle cleans
Wednesday: Moderate weight hang snatches and hang cleans
1) Check Out Weightlifting Programming Mistakes Lecture #2 – Not Enough Strength Work
‘Til Next Time